Getting the Most Out of Your iPhone Video Camera

You are about to learn about five awesome iPhone Video apps.  In the not-so-distant past, the idea of an average Joe shooting and editing HD video was absurd.  Camera equipment cost thousands of dollars, and editing software appeared to be more complex than an airplane cockpit.  How far we've come!  Now, HD video cameras are embedded within smart phones and tablets, and it is possible to edit professional looking videos directly from an iPhone, for example.  After experimenting with many of the iPhone video apps available in the app store, I've decided upon five favorites I'd like to share. 

If you like this list, you might also like to check out my five favorite iPhone photography apps.     

1. Precorder (by Airship Software)

Imagine that you want to capture a video of a baby's smile.  The only problem is that the baby only smiles once every couple of minutes.  With the built-in iPhone video camera app, you could start recording and hope for the best, but you are probably going to end up with lots of boring footage waiting for that smile.  With Precorder, you simply point the camera at the baby and wait for the smile.  When a smile, or something memorable happens, you hit the record button and Precorder magically begins recording 5 seconds prior to that point (or whatever increment you set), so you never miss a memorable moment.  This iPhone video app has allowed me to avoid hours of boring footage, without missing great moments.   If you get this app, I recommend changing the app setting to "high quality," otherwise Precorder records in a slightly different resolution from the iPhone's native video camera. 

iPhone Video Apps - Precorder



2. TimeLapse (by Yuval Frandzel)

Time Lapse does what you would expect--it makes time lapse videos from a series of photos taken at pre-determined intervals.  This is a great tool for capturing events that would be too long (or too boring) to simply capture with video.  For example, if you had a day-long drive across the state of California, it might be interesting to mount the iPhone on your dash, set TimeLapse to take one photo every five or ten seconds, then allow the app to compile the photos into a movie of your journey.  I've had a lot of fun with this one and I think you will too.  One drawback of this iPhone video app is that the process will be interrupted if you receive a phone call or a text message, so I recommend putting your phone in "airplane mode" if you use this app.  

iPhone Video Apps - Timelapse


3. Stop Motion Recorder (by graf)

This app is similar to TimeLapse in that is takes a series of photos that are compiled into a video, but it is optimized for a slightly different purpose.  Have you ever seen one of those creative claymation films?  With this app, you can do the same.  I've created simple animation films using jelly beans.  Here's how to do it.  First, mount the camera somewhere and launch this app.  Next, set up your scene and clap to signal to the app to take a photo (check your settings first, because this is only one way to do it).  Reposition your scene, clap, reposition, clap, etc. until you are finished with your animation.  Finally, export your final product and enjoy your creation. 

iPhone Video Apps -Stop MotionCredit: graf



4. Vimeo (by Vimeo, LLC)

Vimeo is a video sharing website, and they now have an iPhone video app.  This is a great way to upload your projects in HD quality to the web, where you can share them with family and friends, or keep them private.  I love Vimeo's ability to easily password-project my videos so I can share them with a limited audience.  This app is also great for exploring other people's videos and finding inspiration for your own projects.  If you don't have a video editing app on your iPhone, this app actually includes video editing functionality as well, although I prefer Apple's iMovie app for video editing.  

iPhone Video Apps - VimeoCredit: Vimeo


5. Super 8 (by Paramount Digital Entertainment)

This app was released to promote the Super 8 movie, so I didn't expect much, but it's quite good.  Through a unique user interface, the app mimics a vintage Super 8 camera and takes video in that style.  I don't like to shoot all of my footage in this style, but it is fun to try every once in a while.  

iPhone Video Apps - Super8Credit: Paramount

Not mentioned in this list is Apple's iMovie video editing app.  Since this app is so well known, I have not included it in my list, but it is definitely worthy of being a must-have iPhone video app.  

Now you know about five awesome iPhone video apps;  for iPhone photography, check out my list of  5 Awesome iPhone Photography Apps.